A recent report from the Kaiser Family Foundation sheds some light on the importance of Medicare – a timely consideration during an election year as many politicians float their proposals for cuts in benefits. The research shows that most Medicare beneficiaries are people of very modest means, and their reliance on Medicare is a vital part of their financial health.
According to the study, in 2014 fully one half of all Medicare recipients had incomes below $24,150. This figure is per individual, not per couple, and includes income from all sources including Social Security, investments and pensions. The study goes on to show that most Medicare recipients did have some home equity, with the median amount at about $112,000 (depending on age), but about 24% of beneficiaries had no home equity at all. As for personal savings, half of all beneficiaries reported less than $63,350 in combined savings, and one quarter had savings below $12,000.
Read the brief study here for more details, including a projection of what the profile of Medicare recipients is likely to look like in 2030.
This study and others like it raise profound questions about whether the average Medicare beneficiary can absorb the costs of decreased benefits as some politicians have proposed. Those relatively few retirees with large amounts of home equity and significant income and savings could likely cope just fine, but as the study shows, the average beneficiary seems to have little margin to take on higher living costs resulting from reduced Medicare benefits.
Planning for your financial needs in retirement is vital to your peace of mind. That’s why we urge you to attend one of our upcoming Life Planning seminars where we review several essential factors for you to consider in the years ahead. Besides a comprehensive approach to financial strategies for retirees, we also discuss Family matters, Legal concerns, Housing options and Health planning. Click on the Upcoming Events tab on this website for seminar dates and times, and we’ll look forward to seeing you at a Life Planning seminar in the near future.
(Originally reported at http://files.kff.org/attachment/issue-brief-income-and-assets-of-medicare-beneficiaries-2014-2030)